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Canadian Virtual War Memorial

William Archibald Palmer

In memory of:

Midshipman William Archibald Palmer

November 1, 1914

Military Service


Age:

20

Force:

Navy

Unit:

Royal Canadian Navy

Division:

H.M.S. Good Hope

Additional Information


Son of Frederick A. and Eva L. Palmer, of Ottawa, Ontario.

Commemorated on Page 1 of the First World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page.

Burial Information


Cemetery:

HALIFAX MEMORIAL
Nova Scotia, Canada

Grave Reference:

Panel 1.

Location:

The HALIFAX MEMORIAL in Nova Scotia's capital, erected in Point Pleasant Park, is one of the few tangible reminders of the men who died at sea. Twenty-four ships were lost by the Royal Canadian Navy in the Second World War and nearly 2,000 members of the RCN lost their lives. This Memorial was erected by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and was unveiled in November 1967 with naval ceremony by H.P. MacKeen, Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia, in the presence of R. Teillet, then Minister of Veterans Affairs. The monument is a great granite Cross of Sacrifice over 12 metres high, clearly visible to all ships approaching Halifax. The cross is mounted on a large podium bearing 23 bronze panels upon which are inscribed the names of over 3,000 Canadian men and women who were buried at sea. The dedicatory inscription, in French and English, reads as follows:

1914-1939
1918-1945
IN THE HONOUR OF
THE MEN AND WOMEN
OF THE NAVY
ARMY AND MERCHANT NAVY
OF CANADA
WHOSE NAMES
ARE INSCRIBED HERE
THEIR GRAVES ARE UNKNOWN
BUT THEIR MEMORY
SHALL ENDURE.

On June 19, 2003, the Government of Canada designated September 3rd of each year as a day to acknowledge the contribution of Merchant Navy Veterans.

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

Send us your images
  • Newspaper Clipping– This display of images appeared at page 17 in the November 1964 issue of The Crowsnest, the Royal Canadian Navy's magazine.  (Submitted by Navy League Cadet Corps CHAMBLY, Barrie, Ontario.)
  • Group Photo– This photograph, taken in the Falkland Islands on 18 October 1914, shows some of the officers and midshipmen aboard HMS GOOD HOPE.  Midshipman W.A. Palmer is in the front row, seventh (7th) from the left.  (Submitted by Navy League Cadet Corps CHAMBLY, Barrie, Ontario.)
  • Inscription– Close-up of the inscription on the Halifax Memorial showing William Archibald Palmer's name.
  • Inscription– The panel of the Halifax Memorial on which William Archibald Palmer's name is inscribed.
  • HMS Good Hope– HMS Good Hope - the Royal Navy Drake-class armoured cruiser that was the flagship of Rear Admiral Christopher Cradock's 4th Cruiser Squadron in the early days of World War I.  William Palmer was serving in HMS Good Hope and was killed when the ship was sunk by the German Navy's East Asia Squadron, under the command of Vice Admiral Graf Maximilian von Spee, at the Battle of Coronel on 1 November 1914.
  • Memorial– The memorial plaque at Canadian Forces Base Halifax to William Palmer and his three fellow RCN Midshipmen who died in HMS Good Hope at the Battle of Coronel on 1 November 1914 during World War I.  The location of the main Canadian naval base, Halifax was where William Palmer had undergone his initial training before joining HMS Good Hope.
  • Street– Street sign on Coronel Road in Canadian Forces Base Borden, Ontario.  The name of the road commemorates the Battle of Coronel and the four midshipmen who were the first members of Canada's navy to be killed in action.  (Submitted by Navy League Cadet Corps CHAMBLY, Barrie, Ontario.  Image taken by Gregory J. Barker of Barrie, Ontario, in 2018.)
  • Cross of Sacrifice– Midshipman William Archibald Palmer (RCNC 1911-14) was the son of Frederick A. and Eva L. Palmer. He was a graduate from the Royal Naval College of Canada (1st graduating class). The Royal Navy College of Canada was set up in 1911 shortly after the Canadian Navy itself was established in 1910. He was killed on November 1, 1914 while surving in HMS Good Hope at the Battle of Coronel (South Pacific off the coast of Chile).  He died at 20 years of age. His name is listed on the Halifax Memorial. Photograph and details by volunteer/s: Marian Bushby. Also see Bryan Elson`s `First to Die: The First Canadian Navy Casualties in the First World War` 2011
  • Plaque– Midshipman William Archibald Palmer (RCNC 1911-14) was the son of Frederick A. and Eva L. Palmer. He was a graduate from the Royal Naval College of Canada (1st graduating class). The Royal Navy College of Canada was set up in 1911 shortly after the Canadian Navy itself was established in 1910. He was killed on November 1, 1914 while surving in HMS Good Hope at the Battle of Coronel (South Pacific off the coast of Chile).  He died at 20 years of age. His name is listed on the Halifax Memorial.  Also see Bryan Elson`s `First to Die: The First Canadian Navy Casualties in the First World War` 2011
  • Class Photo– Midshipman William Archibald Palmer (RCNC 1911-14) was the son of Frederick A. and Eva L. Palmer. He was a graduate from the Royal Naval College of Canada (1st graduating class). The Royal Navy College of Canada was set up in 1911 shortly after the Canadian Navy itself was established in 1910. He was killed on November 1, 1914 while surving in HMS Good Hope at the Battle of Coronel (South Pacific off the coast of Chile).  He died at 20 years of age. His name is listed on the Halifax Memorial.  Also see Bryan Elson`s `First to Die: The First Canadian Navy Casualties in the First World War` 2011

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